MV4-BE-Box-Front-medJust announced is the upcoming release of MindView 4 from MatchWare.  The full details are available from MindView Upgrade Features.

The list of upgraded and new features is a long one and continues to build on MindView’s strengths in MS Office integration and project management.  New mind map styles are promised along with new Word templates for export.  Also new is a Shared Workspace to allow collaboration on maps – this appears to be available through subscription to an online hosting service.

A trial version is not yet available however it is possible to sign up for a “personalised webinar” to see the new features in action – see http://webinar.matchware.com/en/upgrade-webinar.php.

Prices have been released and there appears to be a hefty discount for MindView 3 users – see: http://www.matchware.com/download/MindView_4_Commerical_Pre_Order_Sheet.pdf.

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Vic Gee runs the Mind-mapping.Org web site and has catalogued every mind- and visual mapping software tool there is – 377 if I have read Vic’s summary correctly. 

image Just launched is a new site that takes the catalogue and helps users find the most relevant tools quickly.  In addition they can log their own experience of each software tool and provide a star rating.  As this builds up it will provide a unique insight into “what’s hot and what’s not” in the world of mind mapping.  The presentation is stunning.

 

Vic has provided a brief introduction to the site at his blog – see “Vic’s Picks is here!”

MindJet have just released news of Version 9 of MindManager, generally available from 10th August.

From MindJet themselves we hear;

The new version improves upon the seamless integration with the Microsoft Office suite and SharePoint, allowing users to quickly bring together information and content from a variety of sources into an intuitive visual map that aids planning, brainstorming and project management. The scope and ease of integration with Office, combined with the intuitive display of multiple sources of information, has lead some to describe MindManager as “the missing office application.”

MindJet have summarised the key features of Version 9 as follows:

· Power Performance – Faster map loading while using fewer system resources

· MindManager Slide Show – Enables users to create and present a series of slides based off map, tree and organisational chart layouts helping to align and organise information, ideas and strategies to be more productive.

· Microsoft Outlook Integration – Features more powerful integration with Microsoft Outlook tasks, emails, notes, calendar items and contacts and enables individuals to easily assign priorities, filter on priority, and drag and drop content for better organisation.  Dynamic branches of Outlook tasks can be added to maps and visualised in MindManager’s integrated Gantt chart.

· Microsoft PowerPoint Integration – Users can now easily export content from MindManager into PowerPoint slides to accomplish more, faster.

· Microsoft Project Integration – Improved integration allows for exporting of plans created within MindManager as Microsoft Project files.

· Resource Utilization – To help ensure your plan’s success, users can better understand which resources are over or underutilised.

· Gantt Chart View– Individuals can view task and project plan timelines in MindManager’s integrated and synchronised Gantt chart. Updates can be made to maps by adjusting the Gantt chart or by making changes directly into a map.

I hope to be able to give an early review of some of these features in due course.  A slightly different summary is available at the MindJet website – click the image below.

image

 

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Mindjet

MindJet have begun a programme to recognise blogs that promote mind mapping and MindManager. Garret Scott of MindJet wrote, "It is individuals like you who help to champion the mapping way of life."

The programme includes the option to display the MindJet Trusted Voice logo on the web sites and blogs belonging to members.

The programme has caused some debate amongst mind mappers.  Some have declined as they fear that to display the badge may effect how others view their impartiality – a position I would fully endorse for those who provide us with reviews of the market as a whole. 

A scan of the postings on this blog will quickly reveal I am partial to MindManager as a user.  I am happy to accept the invitation.

Vic Gee has recorded some thoughtful observations on this subject at his Mind Mapping Blog – see http://www.mind-mapping.org/blog/2010/07/trusted-voice/

Milestone Planning

June 28, 2010

Question: Is there an effective way of producing a milestone plan using mind mapping software?

image Mind mapping and other visual mapping techniques are great for generating a list of milestones for a project.  Using mind mapping software, the milestones are created as a set of topics.  Most mind mapping software will let you set “when” dates and owners (probably as “resources”) for each milestone. 

mileYou will also have a range of formatting choices and structures to alter how the milestones are displayed.  This is a great for a simple set of milestones.  Next you will want to add dependencies between milestones, to create what some practitioners might call a milestone path.  You will create these dependencies using relationships.  The normal links between topics and the parent or central topic are not relevant to the milestone path and many mind mapping applications will let you hide these.

MilestonePlanSo far so good.  Now, what if you want to add sub-milestones or high level activities to each milestone?  In milestone planning, these sub-milestones need to be achieved (or passed) on the way to reaching the overall milestone.  Before it can be said that Milestone 1 has been reached, Sub-Milestones 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 have to be reached first.  Such a scenario is normally modelled in linear fashion (in logical and chronological sequence) and in appearance might look like an inverted hierarchy. 

imageMind mapping software generally assumes a "top-down” hierarchy – but this would place the milestone above or before its sub-milestones, as in this example. 

 

Graphic1What we want is the sub-milestones to come before or above the milestone “parent”, as in this mock up.

 

imageA compromise solution is to accept the in-built top-down hierarchy as is and to use relationships to indicate the sequence in which the milestone plan is to be read.  It might look good but its not necessarily easy to understand.

Has anyone else tried mapping milestone plans using these tools? 

What solutions did you come up with?